Trusses: What You Need to Know
Complex vaulted ceilings are simple with trusses.
Choosing kitchen appliances, perusing lighting
fixtures, and shopping for ceramic tile are only a few of the fun
and creative activities you might enjoy in all the excitement of
building a new home. Thus, the words “roof trusses” probably
won’t conjure any spectacular images.
Builders receive exact alignment with trusses.
However, roof trusses do deserve careful consideration.
In addition to the practical purposes they serve, such as reliably
supporting your structure, roof trusses do allow for your creativity,
and offer some surprising common-sense benefits, too.
You’ve probably already spent a great deal
of time analyzing floor plans that suit your family—most
people do. After choosing a plan, owners often request small changes
that meet their family’s unique needs. For example, people
often move interior walls during construction to make room for
a special piece of furniture. Because trusses generally rest only
on outside walls, they leave the inside free and clear to move
walls to accommodate different room sizes—only trusses offer
this kind of flexibility. As it’s hard to predict the family
members who will come and go over the lifetime of your home, it’s
satisfying to know your home will continue to offer this versatility — even
decades after you’ve moved in.
Creative Living Spaces
In addition, you can use roof trusses to fashion
some very unique spaces for your family. Whereas flat ceilings
offer little visual appeal and few design options, vaults and coffered
ceilings create interest and flair with little additional cost.
Talk to your builder or truss supplier about constructing interesting
ceiling conditions. The added volume created with trusses will
enhance your sense of openness in a space. It’s a simple,
inexpensive way to make a nice home look like a fine, upscale home.
Speed saws cut lumber to precise
lengths for trusses.
For practical appeal, trusses offer more than
just a sound structure. Roof trusses are professionally designed
using computers and engineered for the snow, rain, and wind conditions
where you live. They are built indoors, unaffected by the weather,
using computer-controlled saws. The trusses then are bundled and
shipped to job sites, ready to be set in place. Because trusses
are custom designed for each home, the framers aren’t left
to guess how the trusses go together—they fit perfectly every
In addition, the environmental impact of trusses
will appeal to your green side. You can act locally and think globally
because trusses use lumber wisely. Trusses are engineered using
small lumber pieces, the majority being 2 x 4s, which work together
to support the roof. These smaller pieces of lumber can be harvested
from newer trees, leaving our precious old-growth forests alone.
Mother Earth thanks you!
The safety of your construction site also is an
important consideration. Just as toys left on stairs create a dangerous
situation, a clean jobsite is a safer jobsite. Because there is
little or no waste with trusses, your clean-up and dumpster costs
are significantly reduced. Additionally, because roof trusses go
up quickly, your framers spend less time working at extreme heights,
which means fewer opportunities for injuries.
Finally, what could be more practical than your
building dollars? Because roof trusses install quickly, your construction
timetable is reduced. If you have a construction loan (which always
carries a rate higher than your normal mortgage) you will save
That’s money you can put into your pocket — or
use to upgrade your kitchen countertops!
Truss Structure in home
On a less pleasant financial note, jobsite theft
in America in recent years was estimated at $1 billion. Availability
and ease of access to job sites has created a market of professional
thieves that are hard to guard against — and stolen materials
can temporarily shut down your job. Roof trusses deter thieves
from making off with your building materials because they are manufactured
in specific shapes and lengths for your home. Trusses can’t
be used in the same way as a bundle of 2 x 6s. And because roof
trusses speed construction, your home will be closed in sooner,
allowing other building materials to be placed inside and out of
So, you see there is more to roof trusses than
meets the eye. Virtually any roof can be built using them. Precision
built for your home, trusses allow for interior changes both before
and after construction, they offer the flexibility to create interesting
ceilings economically, are good for the environment and contribute
to a safe job site. They install quickly and are not prone to theft.
Roof trusses are built to suit — and to last. You can’t
ask for more than that.